Enrique wants Xavi stay

The 35-year-old has just over a year left on his contract, but he has been heavily linked with a summer switch to Qatari side Al Sadd.

And Enrique insists Xavi, who has made just six starts in 22 games since the turn of the year, would benefit greatly if he sees out the remainder of his contract at the club.

“He has the affection of all the Barca fans and every football lover,” said the Barcelona boss. “He knows it and feels it. I would be pleased if he continues helping us, but I understand that he wants other experiences. Whatever he chooses will be good for Barca.”

“He knew it would be a special year for him and he has accepted it. He helps us both on and off the field.”

Enrique’s treble-chasing side maintained their four-point advantage over Real Madrid at the top of the table thanks to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Almeria on Wednesday night.

They are already through to the last eight of the Champions League to face Paris St Germain and will seek a record-extending 27th King’s Cup triumph when they play Athletic Bilbao in the final on May 30.